Sarah Huckabee Sanders chooses not to take questions from the Blade throughout the White House rundowns.
(Screenshot through CSPAN)
Time to level with our readers: the Washington Blade has efficiently been iced out from asking concerns in the White Home rundown space under the Trump administration.Even though I frequently participate in the briefings on behalf of the Blade every day they’re held, the last time a White House press secretary contacted me during an on-camera news conference remained in May.That last concern came around the time of the departure of Sean Spicer– who, regardless of his faults, would get in touch with the Blade– and the rise of Sarah Huckabee Sanders to the role of Trump’s leading spokesperson.Many times throughout the instructions, I see Sanders look directly at me as I raise my hand for a concern, but she nonetheless avoids me for another press reporter, normally from a conservative, Trump-friendly outlet like Breitbart or Newsmax.That’s a plain contrast from briefings during each year of the Obama administration when press secretaries Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney and Josh Earnest would take my concerns routinely. In the last years of the Obama White Home, Earnest in particular sought to engage the Blade on issues affecting the LGBT community, whether it was North Carolina’s anti-LGBT laws or anti-LGBT abuses overseas, and to his credit provided thoughtful reactions. President Obama called on me himself during his last press conference.The current scenario is sadly consistent with the treatment of the Blade throughout the George W. Bush administration. That was prior to my time, but the White House outright refused to credential the Blade for news conferences throughout Bush’s 2nd term as he promoted a Federal Marital Relationship Amendment. The Blade has otherwise been credentialed because the Reagan administration.Cut to today: The White House chooses not to take inquiries from the only LGBT publication in the White Home at a time when the administration continuously presents anti-LGBT policies. Among them is a restriction on
transgender military service; a rollback of LGBT civil liberties protections at the Justice Department; sending an attorney to a federal court in New York to argue firing people for being gay is perfectly legal; and new “spiritual freedom” guidance that essentially thumbs-ups the rejection of services to LGBT people.At initially, I chalked up the inability to obtain a concern to the expanded existence of reporters in the rundown space at the start of the new administration, each of whom aspires to have the press secretary’s attention, combined with the brevity of the instructions. The constant death over of the Blade for five months now suggests something else is at work.We have actually tried to fix this circumstance through email correspondence with Sanders. She told me skipping over the Blade was”not at all purposeful”and stated she ‘d make a point of contacting me throughout the next rundown. When the next instruction rolls around, she still doesn’t call on the Blade. Sanders has provided us duplicated guarantees she ‘d call on the Blade, but never ever follows through.Given the anti-LGBT actions of the Trump administration, maybe it should come as no surprise the top spokesperson doesn’t desire to take ownership of the policies under questioning from the only LGBT publication in the rundown room.But there might be something more to neglecting the Blade: Sanders herself,
as documented by the LGBT media guard dog GLAAD, has an anti-gay record. Is that influencing her choice on whom to contact throughout the briefings?Prior to joining the Trump administration, Sanders headed the American Principles Fund, a Super PAC with ties to openly gay player drafted into the NFL, Sanders wasn’t among those commemorating. On her Facebook page, she posted an short article by blog writer Matt Walsh arguing the first for the NFL wasn’t worth commemorating.
“Regardless of exactly what your personal beliefs are on this issue, Matt Walsh makes some great observations in this post,” Huckabee Sanders wrote.Well, Sarah
Huckabee Sanders, despite what your individual beliefs are, you’re the White House press secretary now. That indicates appealing with established, credentialed media outlets whether they’re pulling the Trump line or not.The Blade has actually been around for nearly 50 years and continues to aggressively cover LGBT news at the regional, nationwide and worldwide levels. Luckily, our presence in the White Home swimming pool rotation, set up not through the White House but the White Home Correspondents’ Association, is unchanged.But LGBT Americans are worthy of to have our questions answered at the White House regardless of which administration is in power– and this freezing from our publication must stop.